We have now arrived at a period in the history of furniture which is confused, and difficult to arrange and classify. From the end of the fourteenth century to the Renaissance is a time of transition, and specimens may be easily mistaken as being of an earlier or later date than they really are. M. Jacquemart notices this “gap,” though he fixes its duration from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, and he quotes as an instance of the indecision which characterised this interval, that workers in furniture were described in different terms; the words coffer maker, carpenter, and huchier (trunk-maker) frequently occurring to describe the same class of artisan.
It is only later that the word “menuisier,” or joiner, appears, and we must enter upon the period of the Renaissance before we find the term “cabinet maker,” and later still, after the end of the seventeenth century, we have such masters of their craft as Riesener described as “ebenistes,” the word being derived from ebony, which, with other eastern woods, came into use after the Dutch settlement in Ceylon. Jacquemart also notices the fact that as early as 1360 we have record of a specialist, “Jehan Petrot,” as a “chessboard maker.”
[Illustration: Interior of An Apothecary’s Shop. Late XIV. or Early XV. Century. Flemish. (From an Old Painting.)]
[Illustration: Court of the Ladies of Queen Anne of Brittany. (From a Miniature in the Library of St. Petersburg) Representing the Queen weeping on account of her Husband’s absence during the Italian War. Period: XV. Century.]
THE RENAISSANCE IN ITALY: Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaele—Church of St. Peter, contemporary great artists—The Italian Palazzo—Methods of gilding, inlaying and mounting Furniture-Pietra-dura and other enrichments—Ruskin’s criticism. THE RENAISSANCE IN FRANCE: Francois I. and the Chateau of Fontainebleau—Influence on Courtiers, Chairs of the time—Design of Cabinets—M.E. Bonnaffe on The Renaissance, Bedstead of Jeanne d’Albret—Deterioration of taste in time of Henry IV., Louis XIII. Furniture—Brittany woodwork. THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NETHERLANDS: Influence of the House of Burgundy on Art—The Chimney-piece at Bruges, and other casts of specimens at South Kensington Museum. THE RENAISSANCE IN SPAIN: The resources of Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—Influence of Saracenic Art, high-backed leather chairs, the Carthusian Convent at Granada. THE RENAISSANCE IN GERMANY: Albrecht Duerer—Famous Steel Chair of Augsburg—German seventeenth century carving in St. Saviour’s Hospital. THE RENAISSANCE IN ENGLAND: Influence of Foreign Artists in the time of Henry VIII.—End of Feudalism—Hampton Court Palace—Linen pattern Panels—Woodwork in the Henry VII. Chapel at Westminster Abbey—Livery Cupboards at Hengrave—Harrison quoted—the